This looks sort of carefully arranged, but it actually wasn’t. In fact I was just getting up from my desk when I happened to glance back and notice how it was all lying there, so neatly, and it made me really happy. This may take some explaining.
First, there’s the Moleskine. Now, I’m not entirely a Moleskine junkie… well, no, that’s a lie, I totally am. I actually felt a sharp and painful intensifying of my already strong desire for an iPad when I realised you could get covers that made them look like Moleskines. So there’s that, although I sort of think I shouldn’t be a Moleskine junkie, because, well, brands, right? And it’s just stationery, right? But… but… there’s something so wonderful about an item that is simple, and perfect, and elegant, and highly functional, and perfect in its elegantly functional simplicity. And that is what Moleskines are. Especially this. This is the extra large weekly notebook.* It is perfect. It has just enough space for a person who doesn’t have a lot of appointments to map out her week, plus a large page for notes and to-do lists and randomness opposite every week. It is big enough to lie flat on the desk, for ease of viewing and scribbling, yet compact and light enough to slip into a non-tiny handbag. It shows phases of the moon. It is blessedly uncluttered. It is beautiful. It makes me happy. Using it, too, makes me happy. Having a life that fits neatly into a fairly minimal planner like this makes me happy. (I do not dig a busy schedule.) It is happiness in diary form. It is wonderful.
And then there’s the Stuff. Calculator and knitting. I do generally keep a washcloth-in-progress on my desk these days; easy, mindless knitting for when I’m reading particularly verbose blogs and such, or waiting for my pooter to Do Something, or whatever. But on this particular occasion, I was using my knitting to test out particular techniques and instructions. The calculator was there to check some pattern maths. I had knitting at my elbow for actual work purposes. I was editing a knitting book. New freelance gig. This, too, makes me very happy.
Finally… there’s the fact that you can actually see the desk underneath it all. Not a big deal, you might think. But I’ve been struggling with that for years. When I had an actual office job, I was really, really good at leaving my desk tidy every evening. It was really important to me to be able to start each day without clutter or mess; to know that any piece of paper at my elbow was something that needed to be worked on, right away, and that once it was dealt with it could be Moved On. Maintaining this state of affairs enabled me to think clearly and work efficiently. And yet, at home, working on Purlescence, I pretty much never managed to achieve such a state. Maybe because I never really learned to clock out – so I never had that end of day, tidying up thing. In any case, it was a constant problem. Too much work; too much clutter; mental fog and overwhelm; more clutter; more work backlog… ugh.
So here I am, with a clean(ish) desk once again; if not every day (it does tend to attract toddler and other debris), then at least some of the time.
* Eighteen-month academic version: July to following December. Even that is perfect, if only because of how kindly it accommodates a ramshackle sort of person who suddenly decides she really needs a diary smack dab in the middle of the year.